Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Healthy Lackey Is A Happy Lackey...Beckett...UCONN

So far, so good. John Lackey, who in the recent past has suffered from serious spring training injuries that set back his training regimens and backed up his first regular season starts, is having a GREAT and injury-free spring, his first with the Red Sox. He has been more aware of how his body feels and has adjusted accordingly, toning it down a tad. But you know what? He has been highly effective in retiring opposing hitters. He recently said this...

“I probably toned it back a bit just to make it through spring training,” Lackey said. “I wanted to get to the starts that counted. I probably was a little smarter about things.”

When asked about Lackey's past spring training injury problems, Boston Red Sox manager Terry "Tito" Francona said this...

“I think he’s aware of what’s happened the last couple springs, and so were we. I think he’s come through it with flying colors.”

I love flying colors! And what about Lackey slotted in the third position of the Boston starting pitcher rotation behind Josh Beckett and Jon Lester? Francona said this about that...

“He (Lackey) looked at me and said, ‘That’s exactly what I would do. Those guys have been here,’ ” Francona said. “It was a really good conversation. I guess I didn’t expect it to go any other way, but at the same time, I wanted him to know, hey, I know who you are. It was a big deal for him to come over here.”

It sure was! John Lackey would be a team ace ANYWHERE. I like to think of the Boston Red Sox rotation as consisting of three genuine aces with a super strong supporting cast. That's a recipe for success and post season play in my book.

I blundered upon this from ESPN/Boston. It concerns Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox' take on extending his contract to four years or five. Here is part of the release and then I'll be back with a personal comment...

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- "Talks are ongoing for a contract extension for Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, who is scheduled to pitch the season opener next Sunday night at Fenway Park against the New York Yankees.
But it turns out the benchmark for a new deal will not be the five-year, $82.5 million contract the Sox gave free agent John Lackey this winter, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. The Red Sox will not go beyond four years in a deal for Beckett, the source said. At 30, Beckett is a year younger than Lackey, but it appears that long-term concerns about Beckett's right shoulder have dissuaded the Red Sox from going to a fifth year with Beckett, whose three-year, $30 million extension he agreed to in 2006 expires at the end of the season."

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Four years seems like a great number to me, to tell you the truth. I DO NOT blame the Boston Red Sox. More importantly, having Josh at the head of our pitching rotation this year and for four more seasons is all I could ask for. I just hope Theo and John Henry GET IT DONE! The same thing goes for Victor Martinez, although he's more likely to get a two year deal.

That's it for this Sunday, March 28th, 2010. Come noon I'll be watching the University of Connecticut national champion women's basketball team as they try to advance to the "Elite Eight," one step away from the Final Four. They've won 74 straight games, all by double digits, and I expect the same today. Pat Summit's Tennessee team, a number one seed and a very hated team here in Connecticut, bit the dust (YES!!) yesterday on national television. To say I was cheering would be an utter understatement. Ever since Summit "chickened out" of her home and home yearly series with UCONN, she's been sh*t in my book. BYE BYE PAT...enjoy the games from the comfort of your living room. By the way, the UCONN game begins at 12:04pm on ESPN and ESPN HD. Enjoy and have a great Sunday. Click on this post's title for more sports and as always, BE WELL. I'll be seeing you.

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